White Rock paint core

So, I grew up in the science town of Los Alamos, New Mexico, which is actually sort of two towns: Los Alamos and White Rock. The two towns share a lot of things, including a Sonic, a middle school, a high school, and a love of very large bombs.

Well, at the entrance to White Rock (right next to the quickie mart) is the eponymous rock. The white rock is only sometimes white, as it is a long-standing tradition to paint it in different colors an patterns.

Well, apparently Mouser NerdBot (who is, I assume, based on the name, a Palin relation), was curious just how thick the paint was and took a core sample, discovering that it was five and a half inches thick.

Here’s a small version of the composite picture, but you should really check out the full-size image here.

via kottke.org

Five and a half inches!?! That’s like twice the size of my . . . um . . . pet hamster?

17 thoughts on “White Rock paint core”

  1. My pleasure. 🙂 Stay tuned, there’s a better version coming. We took a larger core sample and are being a bit more careful with the handling this time around. We’ll be doing a writeup for the Monitor, too.

  2. People always laugh when I tell them the rock was not that big when I moved to WR at the age of 9…..I have painted it about 9 times and once was over painted the same day we had painted it in the morning……Ah memories….

  3. @Anon: The rock appeared at that intersection in 1964 or 1965 according to the Los Alamos Historical Society, but it didn’t get regularly painted until some time later. We’re still trying to track down a concrete history of the tradition.

  4. I would like to see if there are a lot of people reading this blog who were involved in delinquent activities and contributed to the impressive thickness of paint on the rock. If enough folks can pin a date to their activity along with the color they chose, the color they painted over, and the color that was used to cover up their particular work of art, then a chronology of the core sample could be generated.

  5. That is simply amazing!I personally never painted the rock, but appreciated it for years! How cool would it be to make art prints of the photo? I know that I, and probably a few other who still glow in the dark, would love to have history like that hanging on my wall! Plus, there is the added bonus of the inside joke that only a select few would get!!!

  6. When I grew up there it was a huge deal if someone vandalized and painted that rock. They were so diligent about keeping it white, which makes sense because it does represent White Rock. But now it has become acceptable to repaint it at anyone’s desire. Funny how things change.

  7. Isn’t someone writing a book about the White Rock Rock? I remember reading something in the Monitor asking people to send the author their photos.

  8. Mary Katko
    My Uncle Max Chavez (deceased) and his wife Ruth Chavez, son’s Feliz and Gary helped him place the rock. He would be so please to see how many people have used it. 🙂

  9. We used to joke that the rock was originally much smaller, it’s fun to see the proof. I have great memories of many of the paint jobs.

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